Thursday, 30 May 2019

Chiquitita - Nana Mouskouri

Having bought my first ever Nana Mouskouri single in February ('The one that got away') it looks like 2019 might be her year - at least in my record collection. 'A force de prier' - the original version of 'The one that got away' - is one that I will probably get before the end of this year, and here is her cover version of that immortal Abba song, 'Chiquitita'.

Nana Mouskouri recorded this song in 1984, with French lyrics by French musical theatre lyricist  Alain Boublil. The single was taken from the album 'La Dame De Coeur', also released in 1984.

My collection: 7" single no. 6094
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Chiquitita (Dis-moi pourquoi)' / 'La fin du voyage'

Erasure-ish - Björn Again

When Erasure released their Abba-esque EP, it was almost a given that Björn Again, one of several Abba cover bands, would come up with the idea of covering Erasure songs. And sure they did. 'Erasure-ish' was released in 1992 and reached number 25 in the UK singles chart.

Björn Again was created in 1988 in Melbourne, Australia by Rod Stephen and John Tyrrell. After the first Björn Again show at a pub in the inner Melbourne suburb of Collingwood called The Tote Hotel on May 6, 1989 the show's popularity increased quickly, which first took the group Australia-wide and then overseas to international acclaim. Original members for the first six years of the band included Gavin Charles (Bjorn), Janette Stuart (Agnetha), Dorina Morelli (Frida) and Peter Ryan (Benny). Both Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson have lauded Björn Again a number of times over the years, and after Abba's former members made their intentions known that they were not going to perform together any longer, Andersson was quoted as saying in 1999, 'Björn Again are the closest you can get to seeing Abba. Abba will never reform!'

My collection: 7" single no. 6093
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'A little respect' / 'Stop!'

Hit me with your rhythm stick (Paul Hardcastle remix) - Ian Dury

During the Seventies I was already watching Toppop, thanks to my older brother and sister. They had their own interpretations on what the 'rhythm stick' that was mentioned in this song was, and as an impressionable youngster I immediately got the joke myself. The song has remained a fun 'double entendre' ever since.

Paul Hardcastle remixed the track in 1984, giving the song a well-deserved second outing. The remixed version peaked at number 55 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 6088
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Hit me with your rhythm stick (Paul Hardcastle remix)' / 'Sex & drugs & Rock & Roll (Paul Hardcastle remix)'

Dear God - Midge Ure

I always held off on buying this single because I knew that there was a clear vinyl edition of it, just like all those Ultravox singles during the Eighties. 'Dear God' was taken from Midge Ure's second solo album 'Answers to nothing' (1988) - and I already own the clear vinyl edition of the single of that title track.

'Dear God' was a minor hit for Midge, peaking at number 55 in the UK singles chart and number 95 in the US Billboard Hot 100. The lyrics of the song are less cynical than the song by XTC with the same title - perhaps Midge has a little more faith in that invisible non-existant force in the sky.

My collection: 7" single no. 6091
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Dear God' / 'Music #1'

Romantica - Renato Rascel

While at Chelsea Records last week, I naturally checked out the Eurovision boxes, but there wasn't that much in there that I didn't already have. But to my surprise and amusement, there were a handful of old Eurovision singles in the 'Italian' section. One of the first I found was the 1960 entry 'Romantica', performed by Renato Rascel.

The song was first performed at the 1960 San Remo Festival, by Rascel and Italian singer Tony Dallara. Dallara's version was more powerful, but the slow, romantic version by Rascel made it to the Eurovision stage. The song ended up in eighth place in a field of 13 competitors.

My collection: 7" single no. 6099
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Romantica' / 'Dimmelo con un fiore'

Non ho l'eta' per amarti - Patricia Carli

The song 'Non ho l'eta' is best known in the version by Gigliola Cinquetti, who won the 1964 Eurovision Song Contest, representing Italy. During the San Remo festival, which was organised in Italy almost two months before Eurovision, she sang the song together with Patricia Carli as per the rules of San Remo. Both Cinquetti and Carli released the song as a single, although only Cinquetti's version became an international hit.

Patricia Carli was born on March 12, 1938 in Taranto, a coastal city in southern Italy. She grew up in Belgium, where her parents had emigrated for work. After studying music and singing, she began performing in public and in a few years she became well known in Belgium and in France, where she performed at the prestigious Olympia music hall in Paris. She released dozens of singles during the Sixties, but only one album.

My collection: 7" single no. 6096
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Non ho l'eta' per amarti' / 'Cosi' felice'

On the beach (Summer '88) - Chris Rea

I scored a hattrick last week when I bought three singles by Chris Rea. The last of the three, after Giverny and You can go your own way, was the 'Summer '88' version of 'On the beach'. It is one of my favourite songs by Chris Rea - although there are more - and this version is a bit more up-tempo than the original. It was taken from the album 'New light through old windows', a collection of re-recordings of his older songs.

The original version of 'On the beach' only reached number 57, so it must have been a surprise to find that this new version peaked at number 12 in the UK. In other territories, the single did not chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 6083
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'On the beach (Summer '88)' / 'I'm taking the day out'

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

And then there were none - The Enid

The British rock band The Enid was formed in 1973 by former Barclay James Harvest member Robert John Godfrey. Despite several album and single releases, commercial success always eluded the band. In 1981, they played most of the music for Kim Wilde's debut album, which probably is their biggest claim to fame.

After this, they released the single 'And then there were none' in early 1982. It was interesting enough for me to check this out. At the time of release, the band consisted of Godfrey with Steve Stewart and Chris North - the latter would also drum with Kim Wilde on subsequent tours. 'And then there were none' is a great single, but wasn't exactly chart material at the time.

My collection: 7" single no. 6087
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'And then there were none' / 'Letter from America'

Brown girl in the ring (remix '93) - Boney M

Having grown up with Boney M it's hard to withstand the German lipsynch band produced by the infamous Frank Farian. After Bobby Farrell left the band they never recovered, and even without personnel Farian tried to earn more money from the Boney M reputation. In short: there is a bit of controversy surrounding those later releases.

'Brown girl in the ring' was originally released in 1978. It was based on a traditional Jamaican children's song and ring game. The 1993 remix is uncredited but is thought to have been created by Frank Farian. It featured new lead vocals by Liz Mitchell and reached number 6 in Denmark and 38 in the UK, while failing to chart in Germany.

My collection: 7" single no. 6086
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Brown girl in the ring (radio version)' / 'Brown girl in the ring (radio rap version)'

Lost without your love - Bread

To be honest, I had forgotten that I already owned a copy of Bread's 'Lost without your love', so you might argue that I wasted some money on this one. On the other hand, the sleeve of this French edition is a lot more beautiful than the other one.

'Lost without your love' was the product of a reunion. Bread had broken up in 1974 but reconvened in 1976 to record one more album. It was to be the band's last hit. Through the years it has become a real classic and a surefire tearjerker. Perhaps that's what I like about this song. It's worth owning it twice at least.

My collection: 7" single no. 6085
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Lost without your love' / 'Change of heart'

I need a man - Eurythmics

A long time ago, when I was working at the public library, I had the opportunity to borrow cd's for free. During that time I listened to a lot of music I didn't (yet) own - and I do mean A LOT. One of the bands that I listened to was Eurythmics. In the end I wasn't that impressed with their albums, which is why I never bought them. But there were a lot of good singles, and I did buy those.

'I need a man' somehow escaped my attention and that must be because of the frankly horrible sleeve of that single in Europe. The American sleeve looks a lot nicer, as you can see here. The best track on this single actually isn't the A-side: I prefer the album track that is included on the flipside. 'Heaven' is a weird, but great track.

My collection: 7" single no. 6084
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'I need a man' / 'Heaven'

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

You can go your own way - Chris Rea

Not the famous Fleetwood Mac song, but a Chris Rea original. This single was released in 1994 to promote one of his greatest hits albums, 'The best of Chris Rea'. I already knew the track because of a cd-single I bought eons ago, but as you know, 7" vinyl is still my preferred format.

Equally interesting is the B-side, a calm Chris Rea track called 'Ruby blue'. This is a specially recorded B-side, not on any album. Which makes this single more interesting.

My collection: 7" single no. 6082
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'You can go your own way' / 'Ruby blue'

Det' lige det - Hot Eyes

Kirsten Siggard (born 7 September 1954 in Slagelse) and Søren Bundgaard (born 4 March 1956 in Glostrup) formed Hot Eyes and represented Denmark at the 1984 Eurovision Song Contest for the first time - and certainly not the last time. 'Det' lige det' ended up in fourth place, in a field of 19 competitors.

This single presents both the Danish and the English version of the song. The song is sung from the perspective of a woman waiting for her lover to come to her. She tells him that his presence brightens the day considerably and that he shouldn't be afraid of loving her, as he appears to be.

My collection: 7" single no. 6078
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Det' lige det' / 'Waiting in the rain'

Monday, 27 May 2019

Giverny - Chris Rea

Somewhere along the way, I have become addicted to unknown Chris Rea singles. They are always surprising, but in a good way. His sound is usually pretty relaxed, laidback and soothing. This single from 1986 is no exception. 'Giverny' was taken from his album 'On the beach', but it was only released in Europe.

In these days of European politics, it is worth noting that Chris Rea is apparently a supported of the idea of a Brexit, claiming that 'you cannot force different people to live together [when] they simply do not want to'. Applying this logic to the United Kingdom, we're in for some interesting times then...

My collection: 7" single no. 6081
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Giverny' / 'Bless them all'

Jump to it - Heartbeat UK

Steve Byrd was a guitarist in Kim Wilde's band when she went on tour for the first time in 1982. Since then, he remained in the band and also wrote songs together with her when she started writing songs herself. But in 1987 he made a break for himself and joined Heartbeat UK, a band that was formed by ex-Culture Club member Jon Moss. Together with Steve Lambert and Mark Heyward-Chaplin (the latter also from Kim's backing band) they signed with Virgin Records and released this single, 'Jump to it'.

The single bombed. Heartbeat UK soon ceased to exist. Steve Byrd went back to Kim's backing band - and he appeared live on stage with her when she supported Michael Jackson in Europe during his 'Bad' tour in 1988. All's well that ends well, then? Well, anyway, I needed to hear this song for myself. It's a nice pop track. It would have been interesting to hear more from this band. Alas, it wasn't to be.

My collection: 7" single no. 6080
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Jump to it' / 'Jumping'

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Ik heb zorgen - Louis Neefs

It ain't easy to find a copy of Louis Neefs' first Eurovision entry, so it is only appropriate that I should find one in Belgium. After all, Belgium was the country he represented when he performed 'Ik heb zorgen' in Vienna in 1967.

His participation was quite successful, since he finished in seventh place in a field of 17 competitors. Neefs recorded the song in English ('I got troubles') and German ('Ich habe Sorgen'). He would return to the Eurovision stage in 1969, with the song 'Jennifer Jennings'. I am still looking for that single...

My collection: 7" single no. 6079
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Ik heb zorgen' / 'Alleen met z'n twee'

How do you mend a broken heart - Guys 'n' Dolls

As one of the popular groups of the Seventies, Guys 'n' Dolls scored a string of hits in the UK and Europe. It is less wellknown that they also had a shot at representing the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest.

In 1979, the group took part in the national A Song For Europe contest with the song 'How do you mend a broken heart?'. Although the TV show was abandoned due to a BBC strike, the song finished in tenth place of the 12 entries when the judges cast votes on the audio recordings of the songs. When you hear the song now, you could say that it might have been a better effort than Black Lace's 'Mary Ann'.

My collection: 7" single no. 6077
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'How do you mend a broken heart' / 'Perfectly well'

La, la, la - Digno Garcia y sus Carios

Spain won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1968 with the song 'La la la', as performed by Massiel. Such was the success of the song that several cover versions happened. One of them already appeared on this blog, recorded by Heidi Brühl. And here is another one, recorded by Digno Garcia y sus Carios.

Digno Garcia was a Paraguayan harpist, who formed his own group, sus Carios, with Lonardo Aquino, Antonia Alvarez and Arnaldo Peralta. 'La la la'  appeared in 1968, right about the time when Massiel had stormed the charts with that song.

My collection: 7" single no. 6076
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'La la la' / 'Costa Brava'

Eurovision 1966 - Caravelli et ses violons magiques

Caravelli was a French orchestra leader, born in Paris on September 12, 1930. Born as Claude Vasori, he was the son of an Italian father and a French mother. Vasori took his stage name in 1956 from the newly introduced twin-jet Caravelle from Caravelle Aerospatiale. This plane was the first jet created for the short-haul market. The first Caravelle entered service for Air France on May 9, 1959. He made it more Italianate in honor of his father's origins, changing the last letter: 'Caravelli et son Violons Magiques' ('Caravelli and his magnificent strings').

In 1959 with the help of the French jazz musician Ray Ventura, he obtained a contract to form his own orchestra oriented to popular music. He signed a contract with the French record label Versailles. His first album Dance Party was recorded. In 1963, he composed 'Accroche-toi Caroline!' which was used by the BBC as the theme to the Vision On television series.

This single was released in 1966 and features cover versions of two Eurovision songs: 'Chez nous' (originally performed by Dominique Walter representing France) and ' Dio come ti amo' (performed by Domenico Modugno representing Italy).

My collection: 7" single no. 6075
Found: Chelsea Records, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Chez nous'  / 'Dio como ti amo'

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Made in Spain (La chica que yo quiero) - La decada prodigiosa

La Década Prodigiosa was formed in 1985 as a project directed by Javier de Juan (drums), Manel Santisteban (piano) and Manuel Aguilar (bass) to produce an album of medleys of popular Spanish songs from the sixties. Several session singers collaborated in this first album, 'Los Años 60, Vol. I'. Due to the success of the album, a band of eight members was formed in 1986 for the second album ('Los Años 60, Vol. II'): Manolo Rodríguez, Cecilia Blanco, Ana Nery, Carmelo Martínez and Jose Subiza joined the three creators.

In 1988, La Década was internally chosen by broadcaster Televisión Española to represent Spain at the 33rd Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin with one of their first original songs, 'La chica que yo quiero (Made in Spain)'. As only six people were allowed on stage by EBU rules, Javier de Juan directed the orchestra and Manolo Rodríguez stayed backstage. The song finished eleventh out of 21 competitors. Since then, the group has survived many replacements of members, even though in the mid-nineties their popularity began to decline.

The single is pretty rare nowadays and is often sold online for upwards of 10 euros. I was therefore pretty happy to find a copy of this single on a Spanish marketplace website.

My collection: 7" single no. 6074
Found:, received May 23, 2019
Cost: 4 euro
Tracks: 'Made in Spain (La chica que yo quiero)' / 'Made in Spain (La chica que yo quiero)'

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Love is blue - Paul Mauriat and his Orchestra

I already bought a copy of 'L'amour est bleu' by Paul Mauriat and his Orchestra in January 2015, and in the very same store too, but when I saw this copy I just couldn't leave it there last Saturday. This is the original French single, complete with a small price tag attached to the sleeve (not scanned here) and a different B-side.

It does happen occasionally that I buy different releases of the same single, especially when it comes to Eurovision releases. And since we're in a winning mood this week, why not listen to this great instrumental version of the Vicky Leandros song all over again?

My collection: 7" single no. 6070
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, May 18, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Love is blue' / 'Comme un garçon'

Rock 'n' Roll is king - Electric Light Orchestra

I think I wasn't the only one who was quite shocked when Electric Light Orchestra released this single in 1983. Ever since they hit it big with 'Sweet talkin' woman', 'Mr. Blue Sky', 'Don't bring me down' and 'Xanadu', listeners had grown accustomed to lush arrangements and melodic songs, so 'Rock 'n' Roll is king' felt a bit like the band had gone back to basics. And after radio picked it up, I quickly didn't want to hear this song ever again.

And so I ended up in a record store in Leiden last Saturday, where another visitor was playing a few singles before he decided to buy some of them, and I heard this one come by. Quite nice. And so I picked up a copy and took it home. A lot changes in 35 years.

My collection: 7" single no. 6073
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, May 18, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Rock 'n' Roll is king' / 'After all'

Eurovision mit Hazy Osterwald - Hazy Osterwald-Sextett

Rolf Osterwald was born in Bern (Switzerland) on February 18, 1922. He began his career as a pianist. Starting in 1944, he led his own ensemble and recorded right through to the Seventies.

This EP is an interesting one for Eurovision fans, because it is a potpourri of several Eurovision songs from the Fifties. It is not very easy to find an EP like this six decades later, so I am pretty glad to have ordered this one along with a handful of other 7" singles recently. You will recognise a few melodies if you know your Fifties Eurovision stuff...

My collection: 7" single no. 6016
Found:, received March 13, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Potpourri: Oui, oui, oui - N'beetje - Die Gitarre und das Meer - Side Saddle - Irgendwoher - Sing little birdie' / 'Potpourri: Passion Flower - Augustin - El Millionaro - Der 3. Mann - Piove'

Monday, 20 May 2019

Heaven help me - Deon Estus (with additional vocals by George Michael)

Deon Estus was born in Detroit on July 4, 1956. As a teenager he joined the band Brainstorm and recorded two albums with them. During the early Eighties he moved to Europe, living in Belgium and Ireland before settling in London. Not long after that he was invited to join Wham! - he is featured prominently in the music videos for 'I'm your man' and 'The Edge of heaven'.

No wonder, then, that George Michael appeared on this track, recorded for Estus' solo album 'Spell'. The sleeve shown here is from the American edition of the single. Curiously enough, a European sleeve which I saw in the same record store last Saturday does not mention George Michael on the front sleeve at all. No wonder, then, that the single only reached number 41 in the UK, whereas it reached number 5 in the US Billboard Hot 100.

My collection: 7" single no. 6072
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, May 18, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Heaven help me' / 'It's a party'

New song - Howard Jones

The recent release of a super deluxe edition of Howard Jones' debut album 'Human's Lib' included a rare track. It made me aware of a Portuguese single of 'New song', Howard's debut release, that apparently contained a different version of the song. Did I mention that I am a collector? Somehow I felt motivated to get a copy of this single, and sure enough, a Portuguese dealer offered a copy online.

I ordered this single along with a few others from this dealer, and I wasn't disappointed: the 7" single from Portugal did indeed contain a version of 'New song' that I'd never heard before. How this ended up on the single is still unclear, but it's nice to have a copy.

My collection: 7" single no. 6015
Found:, received March 13, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'New song' / 'Change the man'

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Piove (Ciao ciao bambina) - Domenico Modugno

While we're in a winning Eurovision mood, it's good to revisit some old goodies - and since I've bought a few good ones yesterday, I can really present to you a rare gem. Domenico Modugno represented Italy a few times in the very first decade of the Contest. In 1959 he sang the song 'Piove (Ciao ciao bambina)'. I bought a copy of this single four years ago.

Yesterday in Leiden I was in a shop that had a few coloured vinyl singles stuck to a window. Blasphemy of course, but what can you do... I spied with my little eye and saw this copy of 'Piove'... on clear vinyl! I was shocked, but didn't hesitate: I ripped it off the window, stuck it in a white sleevee and took it home.

My collection: 7" single no. 6071
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, May 18, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Piove (Ciao ciao bambina)' / 'Ventu d'estati'

Popcorn - MH Band

Here is another version of 'Popcorn', the legendary Gershon Kingsley composition. Well... not exactly another version, because I already owned a copy of the M&H Band's version of 'Popcorn', but this is a different edition.

But this single is still of interest, because the sleeve is different and the B-side features a track called 'Popcorn House', created by Mark Haliday, but incorporating a piece of the melody of 'Popcorn'. And this makes it all very worthwhile.

My collection: 7" single no. 6069
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, May 18, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Popcorn (radio version)' / 'Popcorn house'

Save your kisses for me - Bobby Vinton

There was excitement here when the Netherlands finally won the Eurovision Song Contest yesterday, for the first time since 1975. It was the first time that I experienced this and I guess it is a historic moment in time. While celebrating this amazing result, we also have to spare a thought for those who were less lucky. Across the North Sea, Eurovision fans weren't quite as happy. The UK ended up in last place, with - it has to be said - a song that was unable to touch anyone's heart.

Things were quite different in 1976: 'Save your kisses for me' was a hit before the Contest even took place and copies of the Brotherhood Of Man single were pressed in such high amounts that they pop up in every thrift shop on a regular basis still. This single, on the other hand, is rare: it wasn't even listed on the excellent website! It is a German pressing of the Bobby Vinton cover of that song. And if, like me, you've heard the original too often, you will like this version a lot, because it is lush and polished.

My collection: 7" single no. 6068
Found: Velvet Vinyl Outlet, Leiden, May 18, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Save your kisses for me' / 'Love shine'

Friday, 17 May 2019

Love city groove - Love city groove

With the acquisition of this 7" single I can truly say that I now own every UK entry for the Eurovision Song Contest that was ever released on this format. The very first one, 'All' by Patricia Bredin, was never released on vinyl, and after 1999's 'Say it again' by Precious, no further UK entries were ever released on 7" anymore - regrettably so.

'Love City Groove', a track by the band of the same name, is in my opinion the worst entry ever sent to Eurovision. The chorus is rather grating, especially when you have to listen to it repeatedly, and rapping is always a huge turnoff. It is especially frustrating when you think that year's national final included a song written by Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman, an Ian Curnow/Phil Harding production and the excellent 'I'm just your puppet on a... (string!)' by London Beat. They did manage to reach tenth place in a field of 23 competitors. It makes you wonder what the juries were thinking.

My collection: 7" single no. 6067
Found:, received May 17, 2019
Cost: 5 pounds
Tracks: 'Love City Groove (Reason's Euromix Rap)' / 'Love City Groove (7" mix)'

Giorgio - Lys Assia

A day before another edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, let's go back in time - way back, in fact. Lys Assia was the Contest's first winner, back in 1956 and she reappeared on that stage two times: in 1957 and 1958. While I haven't found a single of her 1957 entry yet, I did find another copy of her 1958. Yes, I already owned a single of 'Giorgio', but the one I found recently comes with a picture sleeve and two more tracks. Obviously I had to have this one.

My collection: 7" single no. 6061
Found: Record fair, Den Haag
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Giorgio', 'Du gabst mir ein paar Blumen' / 'Louella', 'Die Sterne von Venezia'

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Twenty foreplay - Janet Jackson

'Twenty foreplay' was the second single release from the compilation album 'Design of a decade' that was released by A&M Records after she'd left the label in favour of Virgin Records. Confusingly, the album was released after Janet's first album for Virgin, the sexy album 'Janet.'

The compilation album featured two new tracks that were both released as a single: 'Runaway' being the first. This vinyl single is pretty rare because it was released for jukeboxes only. No commercial 7" single for this track was ever released. In those days, vinyl was on the decline and CD's were on the rise. 'Twenty foreplay' reached number 22 in the UK singles chart and only reached top 10 in South Africa.

My collection: 7" single no. 6065
Found:, received May 10, 2019
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Twenty foreplay (Slow Jam International edit)' / 'Alright (CJ radio)'

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Fire of love (Pali się)- Tulia

It should come as no surprise that I will be watching the first final of the Eurovision Song Contest tonight, and before I do, I will post this entry on my blog because it is so appropriate. Poland will be represented by Tulia. Joanna Sinkiewicz, Dominika Siepka, Patrycja Nowicka and Tulia Biczak formed Tulia in 2017 and immediately caught the attention of their country by posting a cover version of Depeche Mode's 'Enjoy the silence' on YouTube.

I was pleased to find out that their Eurovision entry was released on 7" vinyl recently, and I ordered it straight away. Upon receiving the disc I found out that it was signed by all four, and the disc is actually on coloured 'splatter' vinyl! It may be one of the most beautiful Eurovision singles I own.

My collection: 7" single no. 6063
Found: eBay, received May 7, 2019
Cost: 10 euro
Tracks: 'Fire of love (Pali się)' / 'Pali się'

Sunday, 12 May 2019

I giorni dell'arcobaleno - Nicola di Bari

I don't know if anyone has ever wondered if there is a connection between The Doors and the Eurovision Song Contest, but if you have been wondering about this, wonder no more, because this single offers the solution to that particular riddle. Italian singer Nicola di Bari offers not only his 1972 Eurovision entry on this EP, but also cover versions of 'La Bamba' (the Richie Valens song) and 'Light my fire' (The Doors track).

Nicola di Bari was born as Michele Scommegna on September 29, 1940. His first commercial success followed in 1964 when he recorded the song 'Amore ritorna a casa'. Since then he was a regular competitor at the San Remo festival, winning in 1971 and 1972. 'I giorni dell'arcobaleno' ('The days of the rainbow') went on to the Eurovision Song Contest in 1972 and reached sixth place in a field of 18 competitors.The EP was given to me as a gift during a visit at a fellow Eurovision fan recently. Music connecting people.

My collection: 7" single no. 6063
Found: Den Haag, May 8, 2019
Tracks: 'I giorni dell'arcobaleno', 'La bamba' / 'Era di primavera', 'Dammi fuoco'

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Love's theme - Love Unlimited

The female vocal trio Love Unlimited, consisting of Glodean James, Linda James and Diane Taylor, were most famous for providing backing vocals for American singer Barry White. However, they also found success with their own recordings.

'It may be winter outside (but in my heart it's spring)' was written by Barry White and Paul Politi and became a minor hit for Love Unlimited, reaching number 83 in the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 11 in the UK singles chart. This Belgian contains that song but also the instrumental A-side 'Love's theme', a top 10 hit in the Netherlands in 1974. Younger listeners will remember this melody from OMD's single 'Dream of me'.

My collection: 7" single no. 6060
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, May 4, 2019
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Love's theme' / 'It may be winter outside'

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Opstalan - Monica Aspelund

Monica Aspelund represented Finland during the Eurovision Song Contest in 1977 with 'Lapponia', a happy song about a region in the nordic country.

Some marketing genius in the Netherlands made possible something you'd never expect to see nowadays: a promotional single featuring a Dutch version of the song to promote Opstalan isolation plates, made of Finnish plywood. Although Monica's pronunciation of Dutch leaves a little to be desired, it is a remarkable feat for a Finnish woman to record a song entirely in Dutch, especially when the lyrics suggest a product is 'strong as our reindeers'.

I was aware of this single and had seen the sleeve pictured online, so when I saw this copy in real life, I immediately grabbed it. The price was worth it: online it is always more expensive, especially when it's in such a good state as this copy.

My collection: 7" single no. 6062
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, May 4, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'Opstalan', 'En Karneval' / 'Jojk', 'So you're having an affair'

Saturday, 4 May 2019

De do do do de da da da - The Police

The Police recorded their nonsensical 1980 single 'De do do do de da da da' in two languages other than English: in Japanese and Spanish. It's not easy to find a good copy of this single in mint condition, so I was rather stunned to find one in the centre of Den Haag during today's record fair.

Unusually for an American 7" single this copy has a small centre hole. And it has to be said, hearing Sting sing in Japanese is an interesting experience, although Japanese readers of this blog would have to say whether his pronounciation is good enough. I would also venture that the Japanese version is better than the Spanish one.

My collection: 7" single no.  6059
Found: Record fair, Den Haag, May 4, 2019
Cost: 5 euro
Tracks: 'De do do do de da da da (Japanese)' / 'De do do do de da da da (Spanish)'

Jerusalem - The Divine Comedy

This single features three different bands, but my reason for buying was undoubtedly the band featured on the A-side: The Divine Comedy. I own most of their albums (the earliest one are still hard to find) and most of their singles (again, the earliest ones are hard to find) so this is a nice addition. 'Jerusalem' also appeared on the Divine Comedy's debut mini album 'Europop'.

The other bands on this EP are A House and The Frank And Walters, also signed to the Setanta label. The two tracks on the B-side didn't grab me much - but perhaps you like them.

My collection: 7" single no. 6058
Found:, received May 3, 2019
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Jerusalem' (The Divine Comedy) / 'I lied' (A House), 'Daisy chain' (The Frank And Walters)

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Ready boy & girls? - Tears for fears

Strangely enough, 'Ready Boy & Girls?' is the only new release by Tears for fears this decade. This is as much a statement of fact as it is a prediction. A new album by Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal has been awaited for the last few years, but nothing seems to be forthcoming. They are performing live, but if we were to believe Curt Smith on Twitter, the partnership is hanging by its fingernails right now - he almost didn't come along on tour this year.

So here it is, a white vinyl 10" vinyl record, featuring three cover versions done in Tears for fears style, released in a limited edition of 3000 for Record Store Day 2014. The songs on this record were originally recorded by Animal Collective, Arcade Fire and Hot Chip respectively. It took me five years to get this record, because Record Store Day releases are infamous for their ridiculous prices and their limited availability - especially since the region where I live has no record shops anymore. But lo and behold, I found a good copy for a reasonable price.

My collection: 10" single [unnumbered]
Found:, received May 2, 2019
Cost: 9 pounds
Tracks: 'My girls' / 'Ready to start', 'And I was a boy from school'

Som en dröm - Östen Warnerbring

In 1967, Sweden was represented at the Eurovision Song Contest by Östen Warnerbring, the kind of artist you wouldn't find in the contest these days anymore. He started out as a jazz musician but over the years, he became known as a singer of popular music, schlager music, and of Swedish poetry put into music by himself.

His first record was released in 1952. His talents as a singer were discovered by Arne Domnérus in the mid-1950s, and in 1964 he started touring folkparks. His major breakthrough came in 1965, when he sang 'En röd blomma till en blond flicka', a Swedish version of 'Red Roses for a blue lady'. In 1967, on the Eurovision stage, he sang 'Som en dröm' ('Like a dream'). At the close of voting, it had received 7 points, placing eighth in a field of 17 competitors.

Warnerbring died in San Augustin, Canary Islands on January 18, 2006.

My collection: 7" single no. 6056
Found:, received April 30, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Som en dröm', 'En valsfan' / 'En serenad till dej', 'Tänk ej mer pa mej'

Tom tom tom - Marion

'Tom tom tom' was the Finnish entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1973, performed in English by Marion Rung. This was Rung's second Eurovision entry, in 1962 she had made her debut in the Contest as a 16-year-old with 'Tipi-tii', which finished in 7th position. 'Tom tom tom' was performed first on the night and ended up in sixth place in a field of 17 contestants.

Marion went on to perform at the Polish Sopot festival in 1974 and 1980. During the Seventies and Eighties she had numerous TV shows. In 1995 she had a tour celebrating her 50th birthday. As one of the most popular Finnish female singers, Marion is still active. In 2000 she had a successful tour in Finland together with Katri Helena, Paula Koivuniemi and Lea Laven, three other popular Finnish female artists.

My collection: 7" single no. 6055
Found:, received April 30, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Tom tom tom' / 'My son John'

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Man gratuliert mir - Cliff Richard

In 1968, Cliff Richard sang the UK's entry in the Eurovision Song Contest, 'Congratulations', written and composed by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter. He came second behind Spain's infamous winning song 'La La La'. Nevertheless, 'Congratulations' was a huge hit throughout Europe and Australia, and another number 1 hit for Cliff in April 1968.

Cliff Richard also recorded his Eurovision song in German: the lyrics in German for 'Man gratuliert mir' were written by Klaus Fleming. The song was only released in Germany, which makes this single a bit of a one-off.

My collection: 7" single no. 6054
Found:, received April 30, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Man gratuliert mir' / 'Ich kann treu sein'

If I could choose - Sean Dunphy

In 1967, Ireland was represented at the Eurovision Song Contest by Sean Dunphy, who was 29 years old at the time. Born on November 30, 1937, he became famous in his home country as lead singer with The Hoedowners, a showband led by trumpeter Earl Gill. Between 1966 and 1973, fourteen singles by Sean Dunphy and The Hoedowners entered the Irish Charts including, in 1969, two number ones: 'Lonely Woods of Upton' and 'When The Fields Were White With Daisies'.

'If I could choose' narrowly missed winning the Contest in 1967, finishing in second place behind Sandie Shaw's 'Puppet on a string'. Dunphy went on to have two further hits as a solo artist. He died at his home in Baldoyle, County Dublin on May 17, 2011.

My collection: 7" single no. 6053
Found:, received April 30, 2019
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'If I could choose' / 'Yellow bandana'
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